With age comes character.
Launched in 1998 with the 1995 vintage, Yattarna is the result of one of the most comprehensive, focused and highly publicised wine development projects ever conducted in Australia. The aspiration and independence of mind across generations of Penfolds winemakers inspired the winery to embark on a program to create a white wine that stands alongside Grange. Selectively sourcing only the very best Chardonnay fruit from cool-climate regions, coupled with sensitive winemaking, the style continues to evolve. Yattarna reflects Penfolds patience and continued commitment to its original goal, its very name being drawn from the Aboriginal language, meaning ‘little by little, gradually.’ Each vintage provides the opportunity to further raise the quality bar.
Pale straw with faint lime-green hues.
Stylish and classy – a lovely purity of expression with native fruits and hints of lemon zest, finger lime and crushed nasturtium leaf. Such fruits appear to get a ‘free ride’ – courteously propelled by fine, integrated French oak … a barrel fermentation dividend? Upon a swirl and a little air, subtle notes of crushed honeycomb and camomile arise. Refined and classic. Right now, a touch on the closed side, certainly demanding a decant … and time.
An initial detection of peach and nectarine from the white stone fruit spectrum but the real feature of the palate is its poise and perfectly pitched (grippy) acidity. The palate seems to just effortlessly glide linearly, retaining intent and purpose, yet structurally possessive of a velvet sheen that charms and disarms. Supported by ultra fine cedary French oak. All tasted is both succulent and lingering, from the first sip to long after the last! Not trying too hard; balanced, patient and relaxed. Rationalises the pursuit to source the ‘finest’ Chardonnay fruits accessible from anywhere in Australia. At any cost.
Tasmania’s Derwent Valley experienced a dry winter followed by significant spring rain. Above average temperatures persisted through the growing season to harvest, encouraging vines to set a balanced crop with healthy canopies. An excellent vintage for both yield and quality in Tasmania. Henty in Victoria enjoyed good winter rainfall, with regular showers in spring. Conditions for the harvest were benign, favouring good yields and optimal ripeness. The Adelaide Hills growing season was mild and dry. Conditions for fruit-set and flowering were favourable and contributed towards above average yields. Cool February conditions ensured ripening was steady and the slightly early start to vintage was a result of a mild and dry growing season. 2016 was a warm, relatively dry and early vintage for Tumbarumba, with harvest commencing 2 to 3 weeks early. Growing conditions were close to ideal, with good winter rains, a warm and clear spring and a rain free harvest.
The largest proportion of fruit in the 2017 Yattarna Chardonnay comes from Tasmania (44%) , with the balance coming from Tumbarumba and Adelaide Hills. It's fine-boned and medium-bodied, with delicate citrus notes of lime, plus white peach and barely ripe pineapple. Clean, zesty and refreshing, it's a lean, racy rendering of Chardonnay, with a long, elegant finish. Despite 50% new French oak, the wood influence is scarcely to be found.."
Joe Cerzinski, Robert Parkers Wine Advocate, August 2019
The deepest and most complex expression of chardonnay at Penfolds, this has a dual edge, between white peaches and yellow citrus fruit. The palate is rigidly dry with such precise acidity placement and a very long, sorbet-like edge to the clean, hazelnut-dusted finish. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, August 2019
Peter joined the winemaking team in 1989, initially in the craftsmanship of sparkling wines, before moving on to reds as Penfolds Red Wine Maker. In 2002 Peter became the fourth ever Chief Winemaker for Penfolds. Together with his fellow winemakers, Peter’s careful custodianship has ensured that Grange and the other ‘older’ members of the Penfolds family, have continued to set the benchmark for their style and quality, while new additions to the range push the boundaries ever wider.